Las Vegas Plastic Surgery
Most of us have heard by now that Beyoncé was performing at the Barclay Center, Brooklyn, New York, when her earring tore through her earlobe. Most believe it was her long ponytail that got caught on the earring and pulled it through. She noticed the injury during the performance, and in testimony to her professionalism, did not miss a beat, and completed her show bloody earlobe and all.
Earrings & Injuries Are Common
This is a common injury that we see, especially in Las Vegas, where people like to wear big, dangling, and often heavy earrings. Often the earring will get caught on; an article of clothing, hair, or other object. Sometimes, curious babies will grab and pull on the sparkly earring that they see. Not infrequently, the weight of the earring over a long time will pull on the ear lobe, making the earlobe hole larger over time.
The types of earlobe lacerations or elongated holes may vary. In extreme cases, patients with gauges usually will remove the earring to see if the soft tissue will shrink back. Many times reconstructive surgery including rotation of tissue is needed. Of note, the U.S. Military has stated they won’t take recruits with earlobe piercings. We have seen perspective recruits in the office to address this as well.
Repairing an Earlobe Tear
The repair is usually straightforward, but can get complicated depending on the size and shape of the wound. If is often done under local anesthesia in the office. When one originally pierces an ear, the outer layer of the skin, (epithelium), grows along the post. This allows the hole not to close up if the earring is taken out for some time. To repair the torn earlobe, one needs to remove this layer of skin, and put tissue back with the same type of tissue, (dermis to dermis, outer skin with outer skin). The goal is to close the wound ln layers, so as to take the tension off the very outer layer of skin. This will allow the best repair and scar. We usually have the patient wait a few months before re-piercing the earlobe. We also recommend re-piercing the ear a few millimeters away from the repair, (not in the same exact hole).
Beyoncé’s injury looks at first glance, significant enough for a proper repair. The long term prognosis for this procedure is good, as the scar is usually barely noticeable. We wish Beyoncé the best of luck and a speedy recovery from her injury. I have a feeling it won’t slow her down much, as seen by her proceeding with her concert, despite the injured ear.
If there are any other questions about earlobe injuries and repairs, please call us at the office.
Jeffrey J. Roth, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Las Vegas Plastic Surgery